Texture means a lot to baseball cards

TurkeyRedCompareAnyone with a photograph, computer and card stock can really produce their own baseball cards. I mean for the most part, cards are glorified pictures with some special design and verbiage written on the back. But when it comes to good-looking, quality baseball cards, the texture of the card stock means everything.

The other day while preparing a slew of eBay auctions, I came across a stack of 2007 Topps Wal-Mart special cards. These were inserted three per special Blaster Box; two examples can be seen in these images — the David Wright Allen & Ginter and Carlos Delgado Turkey Red.AllenGinterCompare

In 2007, Topps set out to make these special cards as a hat tip to the old school designs, but I always felt that something was lacking. This morning I figured it out — it’s the lack of texture. Compare the images shown here. Look at the Delgado and Babe Ruth Turkey Red cards, and the Wright and Matt Cain Allen & Ginter cards. The Delgado and Wright cards look like cheap knockoffs, where as the Ruth and Cain exude a certain authentic feel. The reason: Texture. Both of the Wal-Mart insert are printed on thin, flat, glossy card stock — just like all of the other 2007 basic Topps cards — while the Ruth and Cain are printed on different types somewhat authentic to their cardboard  heritage — the Turkey Red on matted and pitted card stock; the Allen & Ginter on thick and matted stock.

These little details matter. If Topps would have produced Topps Heritage on slick card stock akin to the 2007 base product, would collector’s be eating it up? I doubt it.

This is where I feel that Topps and Upper Deck have differed in recent years. Both companies have created their fair share of products — and their retro-style brands — but Upper Deck doesn’t seem to put the same effort into all of its products. This is not to say they have not created some great-looking cards, but when you look at their products on a greater scale, Upper Deck tends to stick with the same simplistic design — thin, glossy stock with a crap-load of holofoil — sometimes use a retro image, other times use something almost futuristic.

Topps does this to an extent, too, but there seems to be a little more attention to detail from brand to brand, particularly when it comes to the texture of the cards. And as we can see above, the texture of a card makes a world of difference.

One Response to “Texture means a lot to baseball cards”

  1. Hey man, new reader, I dig the blog! As far as textures go, I’ve a big fan of the Masterpieces sets and a sucker for Sweet Spot and Ovation. Theres just something about a card you can “feel”!

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